A journey to eating meat


Juicy steaks and breaded chicken strips are among my favorite foods. Yet, I enjoy a nice vegetarian meal every now and then.

My love for meat is rather new. When I was younger, my parents made me sit at the kitchen table every night until I finished all the meat on my plate. I absolutely hated it. My mother even bought a vegetarian cookbook when I was in second grade because I went vegetarian for a couple of months.

I ate more meat as I got older, especially when I became a high school athlete. I ran track, cross-country and cheered. When I got to college, I decided to become a vegetarian. It lasted over a year and helped me appreciate meat. Odd to say, I know, but it is true.

I swore off all meats after I watched videos released by PETA and read countless Go Veg brochures. Instead of steak and chicken, black bean burgers and sliced tofurkey sandwiches became my staple meals. I was content, but not completely happy.

 About three years ago, I began incorporating meat back into my diet. I started small with seafood and continued to chicken and beef, but my time as a vegetarian helped me understand what it was about meat that I was against.

I enjoyed the steaks, but I was not fond of the additives given to the animals. I was also repulsed by the way some companies treated their animals. It was too much for me to think about.

Instead, I became more mindful of what meat I bought. I want the meat I consume to be organic, free-range and nutritional. If I ever question the meat, I usually don’t buy it.

As I mentioned, I do enjoy a good vegetarian meal every now and then and I wanted to share my recipe with you. As some of you may recall, I shared a recipe for shiitake fried ricelast semester and that I grew my very own shiitake mushrooms. They have bloomed again and I am glad to share another mushroom recipe with you today.


Servings: 2

Total time: 40 minutes


Shiitake mushrooms, washed and cut and discard stems

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of vinegar (I use rice vinegar. It is sweeter than white vinegar.)

1/2 cup of couscous

Salt and pepper, for taste

1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Prepare couscous as directed on packaging.
  3. While couscous cooks, line a baking pan with foil and place mushroom caps upside down. Cover with soy sauce, vinegar, cayenne pepper and ground ginger and let it sit.
  4. Top mushroom with cooked couscous and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove and enjoy.

*For a complete meal, pair withshiitake fried rice.